Not surprisingly, the experienced team – Fayetteville – won rather handily.
The Wolves were strongest in the second and fourth quarters and earned a 53-7 victory over the Panthers.
With Fayetteville ahead 7-0 after one quarter, two Spring Garden turnovers helped the home team score three times in the second period.
Fayetteville then pushed its 28-7 halftime lead to 53-7 with a touchdown in the third quarter and three more touchdowns in the fourth.
Spring Garden’s points came in the second quarter.
Trailing 22-0, the Panthers got a nifty kickoff return of about 60 yards from Kyle Reece, giving them excellent field position at the Fayetteville 19-yard line. From there, Ben Ivey scored on a quarterback keeper around left end. Hunter Bondie booted the extra point.
The Panthers struggled to get their ground assault moving, finishing with less than 100 yards rushing as a team.
Reece led with 36 net yards rushing. Matt Mullinax added 27 yards on the ground and Quintin Downey finished with 18 yards.
When the Panthers were on defense, Downey recorded a team-best nine tackles at linebacker. Bondie had four tackles on the defensive line. Linebacker Zack Dobbs and lineman Kyle Barfield each made three tackles.
Sophomore Chase Jennings caused a fumble and recovered the ball for Spring Garden.
There’s no rest for the weary as the Panthers open Class 1A, Region 7 play Friday when Gaylesville comes to Spring Garden. Gaylesville put its enormous offensive line to good use in edging Cedar Bluff 40-39 on Thursday of last week. The Trojans rushed for four touchdowns, including three by transfer tailback Gage Davis. Gaylesville’s remaining scores came on a blocked punt and an interception return.
“We’ve just got to take care of our own mistakes and we’ve got to tackle better,” Spring Garden coach Jason Howard said of the coming game with Gaylesville.